I hope nobody will be wronged or think himself aggrieved, that I give this rejected Work [the Comedy of The Drummer not included by TICKELL in his collected edition of ADDISON’s Works] where I do: and if a certain Gentleman [TICKELL] is injured by it, I will allow I have wronged him upon this issue; that if the reputed translator [TICKELL] of the First Book of HOMER shall please to give us another Book, there shall appear another good Judge in poetry, besides Mr. ALEXANDER POPE, who shall like it!
But I detain you too long upon things that are too personal to myself, and will defer giving the World a true Notion of the Character and Talents of Mr. ADDISON, till I can speak of that amiable Gentlemen on an occasion void of controversy.
I shall then perhaps say many things of him which will be new even to you, with regard to him in all parts of his Character: for which I was so zealous, that I could not be contented with praising and adorning him as much as lay in my own power; but was ever soliciting and putting my friends upon the same office.
And since the Editor [TICKELL] has adorned his heavy Discourse with Prose in rhyme at the end of it, upon Mr. ADDISON’s death: give me leave to atone for this long and tedious Epistle, by giving after it, what I dare say you will esteem, an excellent Poem on his marriage [by Mr. WELSTED].
I must conclude without satisfying as strong a desire, as every man had, of saying something remarkably handsome to the Person to whom I am writing: for you are so good a judge, that you would find out the Endeavourer to be witty! and therefore, as I have tired you and myself, I will be contented with assuring you, which I do very honestly, I would rather have you satisfied with me on this subject, than any other man living.
You will please pardon me, that I have, thus, laid this nice affair before a person who has the acknowledged superiority to all others; not only in the most excellent talents; but possessing them with an equanimity, candour, and benevolence which render those advantages a pleasure as great to the rest of the World as they can be to the owner of them. And since Fame consists in the Opinion of wise and good men: you must not blame me for taking the readiest way to baffle any Attempt upon my Reputation, by an Address to one, whom every wise and good man looks upon, with the greatest affection and veneration.
I am, Sir,
Your most obliged, most obedient, and most humble servant,
The social position of the English Established Clergy, in 1669, A.D.
[Angliae Notitia, or the Present State of England, 1st Ed. 1669.]